"After Keith finished things off by accusing the residents of the Black Country of indulging in pigeon fancying and dog fighting, the cameras turned on James, who, with all the charisma and appearance of a portly tailor's dummy, couldn't have presented a greater contrast with the legendary Floyd..."
What a generous bird a duck is: bedding, foie gras, that English classic roast duck with peas, confit de canard, duck fat for your roast spuds, duck eggs, the list goes on. But in culinary terms it has a reputation as something for a special occasion, an alternative to chicken or pork when you're feeling a bit adventurous or want to impress someone. On our first valentine's day I wooed VD with a delightful dish of duck breast with lime, ginger and chilli - obviously it worked like a dream, the way to her heart is definitely through her stomach!
Across the channel they don't seem to view things in quite the same way and duck is a fairly routine offering. Especially in the in the south-west, where you can't drive from one village to another without seeing signs inviting you to try the local fois gras de canard or possibly d'oie if you're lucky. I don't intend on mixing myself up in the debate on the morality in force feeding ducks or geese until their livers become engorged, but as an occasional treat its pretty good!
By the way have you ever heard of the Gascon paradox? People from Gascony in the south-west of France have among the lowest rates of cardiovascular disease in Europe, if not the world, yet live a diet rich in duck fat, foie gras, red wine and other such delicacies. I'm not sure your local cardiologist would recommend it, but it could be fun to give it a crack.
I digress, this a post on duck eggs. Now if I let you in on a secret you have to promise not to tell anyone, otherwise my gastro street-cred will be lost forever. This recipe was actually inspired by James Martin, the famously wooden celebrity chef, after I caught a TV programme where he was advocating the use of duck and quail eggs. This struck a chord with me, as I couldn't recall ever cooking with duck eggs, and as I was saying earlier we don't cook enough with duck or duck-related products. So in homage to the noble quacker and to wooden James, I came up with this delicious dish.
By the way I'm sorry if you like James Martin, but whoever thought he would make an acceptable 'face of cookery' for the BBC wants a horse whipping. There was a very amusing clip of Keith Floyd cooking 'groaty dick' on Saturday Kitchen the other day which had me in stitches; after Keith finished things off by accusing the residents of the Black Country of indulging in pigeon fancying and dog fighting, the cameras turned on James, who, with all the charisma and appearance of a portly tailor's dummy, couldn't have presented a greater contrast with the legendary Floyd.
Duck egg and chorizo tortilla
4 duck eggs
A splash of milk
2 onions, finely sliced
1 or 2 large potatoes (depending on how sturdy you'd like your tortilla to be), finely sliced
200g chorizo, roughly sliced
A big handful of chopped parsley
Salt and pepper
- This is very simple to make and I'm sure you won't need many instructions. Start off by gently cooking the onions in a good glug of olive oil in a large frying pan.
- While they are frying, boil the sliced potatoes until soft, then drain and leave to steam in the colander.
- When the onions have softened and have a bit of colour add the cooked potatoes and the chorizo. Give the whole lot a mix, season with salt and pepper and leave to cook for about 10 minutes. By which time the fat will have rendered out of the chorizo and everything will be looking slightly browned and smelling delicious.
- Now add the parsley, give it another stir, and cook for a further minute or two.
- Break the eggs into a bowl, add a splash of milk, some more salt and pepper and then pour this mixture over the potato, onion and chorizo - making sure the ingredients are evenly distributed in the pan. Now pre-heat the grill.
- After 5-7 minutes the egg should be cooked on the bottom and sides, but still slightly liquid on top, so stick the whole lot under the grill to cook the egg through and give it a bit of colour.
- Now serve it up with a green salad and maybe a bit of bread if you're especially hungry!
Wine wise, without the chorizo I might say a French chardonnay. But the chorizo gives it a bit more oommph, so I'd go Spanish and a rioja crianza...